15.3 million Nigerians living with Diabetes — WHO

As part of activities to mark the World Diabetes Day (WDD) today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) have raised the alarm on 74.4 per cent rise in the number of people with the disease, from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.

They also noted that theglobal prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age had risen from 4.7 per cent in 1980 to 8.5 per cent in 2014, which puts the number of Nigerians living with the disease at 15.3 million.

According to the WHO and IDF, diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries and the disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.

They noted that in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose, and almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years.

WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030 but healthy diet, regular physical activities, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

According to the WHO, diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activities, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

Also, two recent but independent studies suggest that combined effect of regular exercises and quitting the intake of sugary beverages can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 80 per cent.

Besides, researchers have found that walking briskly or cycling for the recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 26 per cent.

According to a new research by University College, London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK), people who carry out an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day can reduce their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 40 percent.

The study also revealed that any amount of physical activity could reduce the risk of developing the disease.The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, is the most comprehensive study to look at the impact of exercise, independent of other behavioural factors such as diet, on a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or when it cannot effectively use the insulin it produces to help the body metabolise the sugar that is formed from the food we eat.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, which gives us the energy we need to live. Unable to get into the cells to be burned as energy, the sugar can build up to harmful levels in the blood.



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